This is it: Barcelona are going to make their final attempt to sign Eric García from Manchester City in January.
That’s what Sport are reporting on Monday morning, claiming the La Liga side are preparing their ‘final offensive’ for the centre-back, whose contract at the Etihad runs out in June of next year.
They will have just under a month to get a deal over the line (January 4th to February 1st), and the Spanish newspaper state their offer ‘will be of €8m’, which is ‘considerably smaller to what they offered last summer’.
Knowing he will be a free transfer next summer, Barcelona aren’t prepared to go any higher, but their bid of €8m will not include any bonuses of any kind; it’ll just be the money up front.
Despite Josep Maria Bartomeu stepping down, everyone at the club appears in agreement with this signing, and Ramon Planes, their sporting director, will meet with Ronald Koeman this week to go over the squad and ‘detect the necessities of the squad’.
For them, the arrival of a centre-back is ‘very urgent’, with Eric Garcia the ‘elected’ party to fill that gap.
However, there could be an obstacle, which is the club face the challenge of sorting out ‘a significant salary cut’ mid pandemic.
If they can’t, then it will have to wait until next summer.
Should everything fall into place, however, there would be no problem in reaching an agreement with Garcia since he already has one with Barcelona.
The only negotiations necessary are with Manchester City, and the Catalans ‘will try again’ in January.
Once again, if Txiki Begiristain and co. stand in their way, they’ll simply have to wait until he’s out of contract and sign him on a free in the summer.
It’s a last ditch attempt to fill a much needed gap, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Manchester City, simply as a matter of principle, reject the €8m and keep Garcia around until the summer.